Up until recently efforts to teach the big lady how to play a game and not lose interest or cheat (and/or cry when called out for said cheating) were pretty much pointless. I think games are such a fantastic way to not only play with a three and a half year old but also to teach her some great skills, from the art of patience (although if her mother is anything to go by she might have a life of learning for that skill!) to honing her fine motor skills, playing can be both fun and educational (#pushyparent!).
For her third birthday she got a lovely gift of a cupcake game from Orchard Toys which up until recently served as fodder for her play kitchen. The cupcake game is actually just a girlie version of ‘go fish’ so it’s a matching and memory game. She absolutely loves this game and it teaches her to wait her turn and to remember where the cards are after they’ve been turned back over. She’s also, as a bonus, learning the art of being a good and graceful winner or loser, which is no mean feat for a three year old but an excellent and decent skill for her to learn.
I had mentioned to my sister how the big lady was really enjoying playing games so on her recent visit she brought her over a gorgeous game from the brand Djeco. The Fish game that my sister brought her is a ‘copy the pattern’ type game which nice because it can be done by herself or together and there are no winners or losers. It’s great for working through colours, copying and replicating. I spotted some more beautiful games from Djeco in Cork recently so I got a Domino’s game which has numbers on the cards for practising counting and recognizing numbers and Snakes and Ladders which again is great for counting (and winning/loosing!).
I’m not sure if this constitutes a game per se but I picked this bracelet making kit from Tiger Stores over the weekend. She had come home from Montessori recently sporting one of these so when I spotted the kit for about €1.50 I thought
whoohoo an hours peace it would be great for her fine motor skills. As a lovely added bonus she was absolutely beside herself giving these out as gifts to friends and family, win win for this simple kit.
It’s never too soon to teach kids these skills and it’s always nice to have something that you can sit down with your three year old and enjoy, even if the super bossy 17 month old always wants to be involved! Do you play any games with your toddlers? I’d love to hear if there’s anything I’ve missed as we’re pretty new to this stage so have lots to learn!